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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the mosques cannot be closed at any cost during coronavirus pandemic but implementation on SOPs must be ensured.

He said this in his meeting with Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri who called on him on Friday.

Imran Khan has directed Noorul Haq Qadri to remain in touch with the religious scholars and the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on matters related to coronavirus.

The prime minister said the religious scholars should be kept informed about the latest coronavirus trends so that the message of compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) continues to emanate from mosques. It was also made clear on the occasion that the mosques will not be shut down but it is imperative to ensure compliance of SOPs.

Pir Noorul Haq Qadri also apprised the Prime Minister about the restructuring of Ulema and Mashaikh Council.

On November 24, the National Coordination Committee (NCC) had rejected a proposal of the Sindh government regarding the closure of mosques across the country amid a nation-wide spike in COVID-19 cases.

“A proposal to shut down mosques should also be considered,” Sindh Health Minister Azra Fazl Pechuhu was quoted as saying during the meeting.

However, the NCC members had rejected the idea saying that they had already formulated SOPs for the mosque-goers and therefore the places of worship should not be closed down. NNI